It has been really cold in the metro D.C. area over the past couple of weeks all starting with the pre-Christmas blizzard of ’09 that dropped 20 inches of snow at my home in Vienna, Virginia. But two weeks later we still have piles of snow because it has not been above 40°. The historical average for this time of year in the D.C. Metro area is 43°, but today’s range was 9° to 31° and this week’s forecast does not get any warmer.
Brrr… this is when water pipes break!
So it is time to winterize your exterior hose bibs/faucets by turning the inside supply valve(s) to the off position. On New Years Day I spoke with a friend who had an outside hose rupture, flood her back yard and leak into her basement. Luckily they were home and heard the water flowing (she thought her son was in the shower), but if they had gone out of town, or off to work then this really would have been a disaster.
One of my listings in Fairfax, Virginia is vacant and a prime target for freezing pipes. Although the heat is on, I shut the main water supply valve to cut off the water supply to the whole house.
About a dozen years ago I showed a vacant home in Arlington, Virginia where a kitchen pipe had burst and there was at least a foot of water in the basement. Being a fairly typical male (not thinking) I walked down to the basement in my Bean Boots and found the main water shut-off valve. Lucky I wasn’t electrocuted!
So take a minute tonight and turn the inside valve to off.